WDYTYA? location guide: Charles Dance

By Harriet Beadnell, 6 July 2017 - 7:05pm

Charles Dance travelled across the UK in search of his maternal ancestors, before jetting off to South Africa to learn more about his late father. Discover the locations that he visited with our handy guide...

Bishopsgate Institute
Charles Dance discovered his ancestor's artistic legacy at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (Photo: Getty Images)

Bishopsgate Institute 

Charles's journey begins at the Bishopsgate Institute in East London, where he learns about his maternal grandparents thanks to historian Fern Riddell. Birth, marriage and death certificates can be purchased at local record offices or can be ordered online directly from the General Register Office. Census returns are available to view on genealogy subscription websites such as Ancestry and Findmypast.
 

Lea Mills

Hoping to learn more about his ancestor Emma Futvoye, Charles travels to Lea Mills in Derbyshire, which houses an archive dedicated to the Futvoye family line. It is here that the star sees a portrait of his 3x great grandfather, Charles François Futvoye, a celebrated Belgian artist. The Lea Mills complex, founded by John Smedley in 1783, still produces textiles and is open to the public.
 

Fitzwilliam Museum 

Charles goes behind the scenes at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where Sally Woodcock shows him a work produced by Charles François Futvoye. The actor also views the account book of Charles Roberson (an artist supplier) to learn more about the types of materials his ancestor purchased. You can learn more about the Fitzwilliam Museum and the collections it holds by clicking here.
 

Claydon House

To find out more about the style of art created by his ancestor, Charles visits Claydon House in Buckinghamshire, which features stunning Chinoiserie interiors. Claydon House is owned by the National Trust and is open to visitors.


Charles paid a visit to the site of his ancestor's art supplies shop, which is now the home of Daunt Books

Marylebone High Street

Charles decides to visit the address where Charles François Futvoye owned his artwork and Oriental art supplies repository. The shop was listed as number 83 Marylebone High Street, which is now occupied by the famous independent bookshop Daunt Books.
 

The Fusilier Museum

To learn more about his father’s military career, Charles visits The Fusilier Museum at the Tower of London. You can see details of the museum's archive collections here.
 

Pretoria, South Africa

Charles ends his journey with an emotional visit to the South African city of Pretoria, where he meets his great niece Noneen.
 

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WDYTYA? episode summary: Charles Dance
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